CAIR-Chicago gives interns a glimpse into the future
Aspiring young professionals and activists often delve into the internship market and come out with a vague idea of which direction they would actually like to gravitate to in the future. Starting this summer CAIR-Chicago has developed an Immersion Day initiative for their interns. Interns participated in the rare opportunity of getting to meet various professionals and have hands on workshops in their respective fields of interest. The CAIR-Chicago team each organized an Immersion Day for interns, focusing on their respective departments' industry.
"We launched Immersion Days in the advent of making our internship and externship program more career-oriented and an enriching experience," said CAIR-Chicago Outreach Coordinator, Gerald Hankerson.
Every other week, team members participated for a program to learn unique skills by CAIR-Chicago staff or their peers, or host or visit a partner organization or supporter with direct bearing on post-graduation employment or opportunities.
"Civil Rights’ Immersion Days provided our interns and externs with unique opportunities to interact with practicing attorneys directly related to their interests. This real world exposure enhanced our internship’s professional development aims, ensuring that interns and externs greatly benefit from their time at CAIR-Chicago" said CAIR-Chicago Litigation Director, Kevin Vodak.
Civil rights interns met with professional attorneys working in different branches of law. A civil rights solo practitioner, Anrea Gambino, discussed with interns her work in handling Federal criminal defense cases, and shared advice for those interested in pursuing careers in criminal defense.
Interns also met with Assistant Attorney General for the Environmental Bureau of Illinois, Evan McGinley. McGinley explained the various types of cases the Illinois Attorney General's office litigates on a regular basis.
“We greatly appreciate our guest speakers who came to speak to our law clerks about their legal work, and provided career advice and guidance to our law students. We look forward to continuing this program with our law clerks and interns," said CAIR-Chicago Staff Attorney, Rabya Khan.
CAIR-Chicago's Communications Department also held immersion days for their interns and for student visitors. Communications Coordinator Aymen Abdel Halim discussed the importance and relevance of social media in today's communications industry. Interns learned the ins and outs of productive PR and how to cater to your audience. Communications Coordinator Leena Saleh met with students from DePaul University to give an inside look into advocacy journalism and marketing.
"Giving young professional activists the opportunity to meet with professionals in their fields of interest gave them a taste of what they may want to pursue in the future." Leena Saleh
CAIR-Chicago will continue to hold Immersion Days for each running semester.